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Re: _T. rex_ strikes ( was Ceratopsian frills)

From: stevet@shelby.net (Stephen Throop)

 > Could buffalo herds have held off lions? 

I suspect they could.

I doubt anything except a human would willingly attack a bison
in a herd.

 > If wolves were as large as lions, wouldn't they have been better
 > able to create and exploit opportunities to bring down big game?

Not necessarily.  The trade off between size, energy budget, and
food supply does not necessarily always favor larger size, even in
the presence of abundant large prey.  This is even more so in the
case of a cooperative hunter like the wolf.

 >  I think the physics of a wolf's attack make a larger size
 > undesirable.

If it did then they would *be* larger.

Note there was, once upon a time, a much larger species of wolf,
_Canis dirus_, which became extinct some time ago (in human terms).
It is known in great numbers from the La Brea Tar Pits. This shows
that when conditions favor a larger size, a larger wolf could exist.

 > It never occurred to me that _T rex_ scavenged in packs.

It may even have hunted in flocks.

 >  Still, I would have expected scavengers to look more agile and have
 > more menacing arms.

Actually, most scavengers are rather odd looking.  The largest
scavengers I know of now are the brown hyena (*not* the larger spotted
hyena, which hunts), and the two species of condor.  Neither is what
I would call particularly agile.

Also, for its size _T. rex_ looks *incredibly* agile - it is about
as gracile (slender) as it is possible for a 5 ton animal to be.

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@ix.netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.